UB40 and Gentleman, both reggae royalty were the perfect choice for the “Reggae Rules” night at Baloise Session this year. UB40’s timeless classics blend seamlessly with Gentleman’s more contemporary flair.
Gentleman, known for his energetic performances, mentioned several times how surprised he was at the seated arrangement, not the usual style for his gigs, or reggae gigs, in general, I would say. Nevertheless, the fans were up for it and stormed to the front of the stage real fast, dancing and grooving – just like they were supposed to. Special shoutout to the enthusiastic dude with the red beanie, who stole the spotlight for a glorious five minutes, belting out lyrics into the mic. He was so ready for this!
Gentleman Fans showed up!
I have to admit, I was a little surprised about the amount of Gentleman fans. I obviously knew he had a big following, but I was kind of expecting more UB40 fans to be honest. The uber-devoted fans were up front and effortlessly sang along to every word. The atmosphere was a nice balanced mix of vibes and enthusiasm. Gentleman was super close to the fans and kept interacting with them, letting them sing and even took strolls through the crowd. This really created a sense of closeness between him and his fans. While I didn’t know many songs, his set was quite charming and I enjoyed it. The anticipation for UB40 was humongous though – not gonna lie.
Concert Pictures: Gentleman @ Baloise Session
UB40 was my first musical-love!
You might have guessed it, but my personal highlight of the night was undoubtedly UB40, the UK reggae legends who have literally been a part of many lives for over 30 years. For me, it was a full-circle moment at Baloise Session. Exactly 30 years ago I attended my very first concert at Hallenstadion – it was UB40.Fast forward 30 years, I am here photographing them at the prettiest and indoor festival in Switzerland, Baloise Session.
I do believe that being a fan of band, makes you take “different” pictures. The general vibe inside of you is different and I feel like you see and capture situations differently. But trying to capture moments and emotions while singing along is not always easy 😂 Having band members interact with the cameras and literally posing for you is a god sent and is very much appreciated!
UB40’s Timeless Classics
Although not in their original formation, UB40 still boasts 3-4 original members, maintaining their iconic tightness as a band. While Ali Campbell’s voice was missed, new frontman Matt Doyle did an outstanding job. Even with the iconic voice missing, UB40 still is a family affair. While Robin Campbell is still part of the band, his son Matt is also delivering Campbell vocals 🙂
45 yrs surely brought out a ton of hits. Obviously a 75min set could never fit all my faves in, but I do think it was a nice mix of old bangers and some of the new songs. They really found the perfect balance of classics and teasers from their upcoming album, aptly named UB45, marking their impressive 45-year journey.
The audience, initially taking it easy, couldn’t resist the magic of UB40’s timeless hits like “Red Red Wine” and “Kingston Town.” While many were still sitting down and enjoying the music a little more relaxed, towards the end of the set, most people were up on their feet and dancing. It might have taken a while, but when the classics hit, the nostalgia was undeniable!
Lots of love for UB40 and Baloise Session
A heartfelt thank you to Baloise Session for hosting another memorable night. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. These shows are always super special, the set up is one of the best in Switzerland and they way Baloise Session takes care of the press/photographers is very much appreciated. We always get detailed info on the bands (including names of ALL the musicians) as well as setlist – and great seats that give us superb views! I always love coming back here.
Thank you to UB40 as well, for providing the soundtrack to my life for the past three decades. Here’s to 45 more years of reggae bliss!
Concert Pictures: UB40 @ Baloise Session
More recent shows at Baloise Session: Passenger & Freya Ridings